Family Stories

Anthony McElroy Family

The Springfield Sun, Springfield, Kentucky

February 15, 1905

An Interesting Groupe of the McElroy Family

This groupe represents the late Anthony McElroy and children.  Mr. McElroy was born near Springfield, Kentucky, on the 17th day of March, 1797, and died in Springfield on the 25th of September 1886, aged 89 years, six months and eight days.  His wife, Ann Garland Rica McElroy, the mother of these children, was born in Virginia on the 17th day of February 1807, and was left an orphan at two years of age.  She was adopted by her uncle, Thomas W. Claybrooke, and came with him to Kentucky in 1814.  She was married on the 25th of November, 1824, and died at her home in Springfield on the 25th of October, 1864.

The children were all born in Springfield, five of whom have been citizens of the town all their lives.  Their names and ages are as follows:  Mrs. Mary R. Hughes, widow of Dr. James R. Hughes, age 79; Mrs. Sarah F. Grundy, wife of Palmer Grundy, age 77; Charles R. McElroy, age 75; Hugh L. McElroy, of Kansas City, age 72; Anthony C. McElroy, age 69; Mrs. Martha McDowell, widow of Samuel McDowell, of Danville, age 66; Mrs. Elizabeth McDowell, wife of Col. Nicholas McDowell, of Danville, age 64; William I. McElroy, age 62; Mrs. Susan Field, wife of Judge Emmett Field, of Louisville, age 59; and Colonel John Irvine McElroy, age 56.  Their ages are 680 years, an average of 68.

The family are of Scotch-Irish descent, and among them were soldiers who fought with their kinsman, Robert Bruce.  James McElroy, who married Susan McCune in Ireland, came with his family and the McDowells, McKees, McCampbells and Irvines to America in 1729 and settled near Philadelphia, and later moved to Virginia.  He and his five sons fought in the French-Indian and Revolutionary wars.  One of his sons was killed in the Battle of Kings Mountain and one was present at the surrender of Cornwallis.  Several years after the Revolutionary War three of the sons, having married daughters of Rev. John Irvine, came with their families to Kentucky.  One of them, Hugh McElroy, the great-grandfather of this family, located near Springfield, and he and Gen. Matthew Walton, a Revolutionary soldier, surveyed, located and named the town.  Anthony McElroy and his brother Hugh were among the pioneer merchants of the town.  They commenced business on the 1st day of January, 1804, Hugh as clerk for Elias Davison and Anthony as clerk for James Hughes.  In 1819 they commenced business on their own account with a capital of $1,000, under the firm name of H. and A. McElroy, which continued in existence until the death of Hugh McElroy in 1877.  Among the early associates of this family were the Bookers, Browns, Cosbys, Cunninghams, Caseys, Davisons, Grundys, Greens, Gaithers, Hughes, Hardins, Knotts, Lewises, McChords, Moffetts, Montgomeries, Nantzes, Platts, Polins, Palmers, Rays, Robertsons, Smiths, Spears, Simms, Saunders, Thurmans, Thomas, Thompsons and Whartons, but few of whom are now living.

4 replies »

  1. I read where two names of interest were mentioned in this article. Rays and Greens. Francis Ray was the father of Louisa Ray who married Joseph Spencer. One of their daughter’s, Elizabeth Spencer married someone with the surname of Green, unfortunately she died shortly after the marriage in 1850. We know nothing of her, her father’s family or the Greens. This is the first time I have seen these names mentioned (Ray and Green) in any affiliation to any family in Washington County. Thank you.

    • Patty, Washington County included all of the territory of Marion County until 1834 when Marion County was formed. So if you are looking for very early records of Marion County – before 1834 – they will be found in Washington County. I’m working on a marriage record CD for Washington County and do know there are a lot of Rays listed, as well as quite a few Greens. Unfortunately there are no Marion County marriage records before 1863 (I think that date is correct) – except a few records kept by churches. John Hunt Morgan and his raiders came through during the Civil War and burned the court house as well as many other buildings. Such a loss!

  2. We bought the home that Robert Finley McElroy and his wife Sarah Finley McElroy built in 1871. I’ve been trying to find pictures of them. In the 1880 census record her brother & sister were living with them (Isaac and Mary Briggs McElroy). Isaac was bedridden and ‘Briggs’ was paralyzed. Robert and ‘Finley’ did not have any children. They both died in 1912, having previously sold their home/farm to his brother, who died in 1906 I believe. Isaac, according to his obit, died here in, I believe, 1886.

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